Teleconferencing meetings offer a number of advantages to businesses, and are becoming an increasingly popular option on a global scale. However, there are some quirks to a remote meeting that do not exist with the standard, in person version. Knowing how to manage a teleconference is important if you want to get the most out of your time. Here are 5 tips for running an efficient teleconference meeting:

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Plan ahead of time
This is really a tip for any meeting, but it is especially important when it comes to teleconferencing. When you are interacting with people’s voices, as opposed to actual individuals, things can quickly become unmanageable. Disruptive tangents will come up. This is why you want to map out exactly what you are going to go over, in what order, and create a checklist to ensure that all of it is covered.

Setup ground rules
A teleconference meeting requires certain etiquette to function. Explain important things to participants ahead of time – preferably in an email before the meeting, as well as at the introduction of the meeting. Ground rules should include things like announcing your name before you speak (it is hard to make out who is who with just voices), and to use the mute button when you are not speaking (to minimize noise).

Maintain professionalism
It is easy to get slack on professionalism when most meeting participants are not in the room. If you have any people that will be attending in person, try to use a room specifically made for your meetings. This will help maintain the mindset that everyone is here to work.

Verify understanding
You will not see any head nods over the teleconference machine, so it is important to verify that what is being explained is understood by participants. This will require asking a verbal question, such as, “Does everyone understand what was just said?” Or, “Does everyone agree?”

Keep things on track
If you are running the meeting, it is your job to make sure everything is covered in the allotted time. This may mean cutting people off if they are going on for too long. You can make this more comfortable by explaining your role ahead of time. Let everyone know that you will be asking participants to summarize their thoughts quickly as necessary.

Teleconferencing offers a lot of benefits to a company, but it must be done correctly to get the most out of it. Utilize these five tips to maintain efficiency and accomplish the goals of your meetings. Visit Hyperspace for all of your teleconference meeting needs.

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